- Labour leader tells his MPs they could soon be in government.
- He tells them to remain in “permanent campaign mode” in anticipation of a second general election.
- Former critics praise his performance after costing prime minister Theresa May her majority.
- Corbyn plans to continue campaigning in dozens of Conservative marginal seats.
LONDON — Jeremy Corbyn was greeted with a hero’s welcome from Labour MPs tonight as he told them they could soon be in government.
The Labour leader received huge cheers and applause as he told his party they were now the “government in waiting” and must “remain in permanent campaign mode” in anticipation of a second general election.
“Now the election is over, the next phase of our campaign to win power for the majority has already begun,” he told the first meeting of the parliamentary Labour party since the election.
“We must remain in permanent campaign mode on a General Election footing.
“We are now a government in waiting and we must think and act at all times with that in mind.”
Corbyn told his MPs he would spend the summer months campaigning in 65 Conservative marginals in anticipation of Britain going back to the polls.
“This is a government on notice from the voters,” he said. “Far from being strong and stable, the government Theresa May is putting together is weak, wobbly and out of control.”
One Labour MP, who last year resigned from the shadow frontbench in protest at Corbyn’s leadership, described Corbyn’s speech as “very well received”.
They said the mood in the room was “really upbeat” compared to similar meetings after the elections in 2010 and 2015 “when everyone felt like sh**”.
Another leading Corbyn critic and former shadow cabinet member, who left the meeting after his speech, told journalists it had been “excellent,” adding “Unity is the watchword. Government is the aim.”
A source close to Corbyn told Business Insider that there were “no plans” for a fundamental reshuffle of the Shadow Cabinet this week, following calls for him to bring back more centrist MPs to his frontbench.
“Jeremy’s team did very well in the election so there’s no reason to change that,” they said, while adding that some more junior roles in the Shadow would still need to be filled this week.
Watch Jeremy Corbyn receive a standing ovation from Labour MPs.
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